Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • Hoonage & New Tires

    Posted on July 11th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve been driving my G8 for the past two years with the tires that came with the car. The Bridgestone RE050A “Summer Only” tires have served be well over the past 22k miles, but they were getting really “long in the tooth”. After all of the “spirited” driving that I’ve done, the shoulders of the tires are all getting really worn-out. I’m actually impressed that with a vehicle that has more than enough power to roast the tires, I have to replace the tires because of the too much cornering. Other than a few trips to the drag strip, I’ve never actually done a burn-out before!

    Since I needed some new tires anyhow, what better way to send-off the the old set than some good old fashion hoonage!

    As I’m sure you could tell from the video, turning the tires into smoke was fairly effortless. The torque from the Magnacharger paired with the 3.45 gears just makes traction impossible when trying to go wide open throttle (WOT) from a stop. Fortunately, since I like driving on twisty roads, I don’t worry too much about WOT from a stop (like drag racers).

    When searching for a replacement tire for the G8, I had many options to choose from. I wanted an “Extreme Summer Only” performance tire, but didn’t want to have to worry about driving in the rain (like those with drag radials might have to). I looked into several tires by Nitto (specifically the NT-05 and the Invo), but decided for my “everyday” tire I wanted the Bridgestone RE-11 in a 245/40-19.

    I have been hearing incredible things about the RE-11 from other car owners. Even the Pedders Camaro is running them (granted in a 305 on all four corners). The RE-11 has a very unique tread pattern that is designed for maximum performance in dry weather, but still has the ability to work in the wet. For a daily driver like mine, that is critical… I can’t be switching tires just because it is raining!

    The first thing I noticed about the RE-11’s after install is that the sidewall is much more square than the old R050A’s that were removed. Since this was the area that I was wearing-out the fastest, I’m hopeful that this different design will work better for my driving style. I’m not expecting to get 22k miles out of them, but I fell the potential performance benefit is a worthy trade-off.

    Time will tell how these tires workout for me… check-back time to time for updates on how these tires are performing.

  • Suspension Upgrades Continue

    Posted on March 29th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    The last time the G8 was up on the lift I found that in two days of driving I broke the front Sway Bar End Link. After a temporary fix (just popping the back into the socket and inverting the End Link) I ordered new replacement BMR parts. Turns out it was a good idea, as after yesterday’s drive on Mines Rd. I broke it again. Today I had the BMR replacement End Links installed.

    They are adjustable in length, which is really nice… although, it would have been nicer if they were “counter-threaded” so that adjustments could be made with them still on the car (Heck, my RC Car can do that).

    I can not feel a difference between the stock End Links and the BMR replacements, but time will tell if they hold-up to the abuse better.

  • “You are the weakest link…”

    Posted on February 16th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    There is something wrong with this picture…

    Let me give you a little hint…

    Well, after the metamorphosis I have found the next weak link. In this case it was the front Sway Bar End-Link. This piece should connect the end of the Sway Bar to the wheel/shock and help keep both front wheels moving together (greatly reducing body roll). The ball/pin that has come out of the End Link and the Sway Bar was not even connecting the two wheels!

    This is one of the few stock pieces of the suspension that were not upgraded as part of the metamorphosis, so it doesn’t really surprise me that it was the new weakest link… but not for long!

    I have ordered some new, stronger, BMR Sway Bar End Links and they will be installed before the next time I hit the twisty roads!

  • Header Swap

    Posted on February 10th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    I have been having a rubbing issue with my JBA Shorty Headers since they were installed over six-months ago. The steering shaft has been coming in contact with the driver’s side header, mostly when turning right while accelerating. It had not caused any handling issues, but it did produce a noise that was very annoying.

    With the help from a member of the G8Board I was able to get in-touch with Pertronix, apparently the company that makes JBA headers, and aquire a re-designed shorty header. The replacement header arrived a few weeks ago, but I’ve not had the chance to get it installed… until today.

    While I did the install of the headers originally with a group of friends, and it wasn’t too difficult, but getting people together for another Mod-day (without a garage) wasn’t possible. I decided to head to Synergy Motorsports to get the work done.


    The experience was just what I expected from all the comments I’ve heard about Synergy. It took a little over an hour to get the header out and the replacement header installed. I was really impressed with the service that Rick provided… I called today at noon and he was able to get me in/out quickly. It was also nice to pick his brain about different Mod ideas I’m having for the coming months.

    After the work was completed I headed home with a detour on Palomares Rd. In the past when I’ve driven this road there were several times the header would rub. Today, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the header to rub against the steering column! I’m going to have to make a trip up Mines Rd. just to make sure, but it seems like everything is good to go.

  • GM Service Manual

    Posted on January 27th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today I received the GM Service Manuals for my ’09 G8 GT!


    Some may think that $150 is too much for a manual, but the amount of information that are in these books is just shocking. At first I thought they made a mistake and sent me more than one… stacked upon each other they are almost a foot thick! There is enough information in these books to take my car apart and put it back together again.

    Looking inside there are very detailed descriptions and figures for everything. I really wished I had these when doing my GPS install… the manuals show the proper way to remove each of the pieces, where all of the clips are on all the panels (including the hidden pin that caused me to break a piece).

    I’m sure I’m going to get a bunch of use out of these in the future!

  • Wiper Blades & Rain-X

    Posted on January 25th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    I finally had enough! The driver’s side windshield wiper on my G8 (and many others as well) has been leaving about a 3″ streak directly in my field of view. It has been doing this for almost the entire time I’ve owned the car, but since it rains so little in California it’s not been top on my list to work on.

    The recent week of rain has been getting to me, and I became fed-up with the streaking. When the wiper went up it was great, but it was the downward pass (the one that should make things perfect) that was a problem. Because of this I had to run the wipers faster than I’d like just to maintain visibility.

    I went to the dealer to order the re-designed set of wiper blades (they should be here tomorrow, given they make it over the Sierra’s with all the bad weather). I’ll see if the work will be covered under warranty (the parts guy suggested it), but if not it’s not that expensive.

    The other thing I did today was apply a few coats of Rain-X to the front windshield. I’ve never used the product before, but I’ve heard lots of good things about it.


    After a good cleaning I applied the first coat, let it haze-up, and buffed it clear. I could really tell the difference in the way the towel slid over the glass after even one coat. I then repeated the application just for good measure.

    When I went out for dinner it was raining lightly and able to see the difference the Rain-X made… WOW! When driving the rain just shot up the window… it reminds me of the ‘starry night’ screen saver. The wiper blades moved quickly and smoothly across the glass and there was absolutely zero streaking. When it stopped raining it was obvious the difference between the windshield (no drops at all) and the other windows on the car. I really want to put an application on my rear window, as when it rains there are always water drops that never seem to go away, and the other glass.

  • $300 later and the G8 is fixed

    Posted on January 12th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Cutting to the chase… when I installed my Volant CAI I started a chain reaction that resulted in where I am today.

    The problem ended-up being a damaged wire harness leading to the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. The wire was damaged when it came in contact with a pulley on the front of the engine. The resulting damage caused a short and damaged the fuse block. The second time the car died the fuse block wasn’t damaged, but the PCM (ECM?) went into a fail-safe mode (not letting the car restart).

    To fix things the damaged harness was repaired and the PCM was re-programmed. The new harness is shorter and is being routed in a different position such that it will not contact the pulley.

    So the problem is solved, but it wasn’t (really) covered under warranty. What am I talking about? Well, the car is covered under warranty, but only against factory issues. Installing after-market equipment (like the cold air intake) starts to get into the gray areas of warranties. Because the damage was caused due to the install of the CAI, it wasn’t covered… but the dealership worked with me and only charged me for the parts that were replaced ($300).

    I tested out the car in the acceleration department on the way home and there is definitely a stock tune in the ECM. I haven’t been able to determine if the TCM was re-programmed as well. I would tune the ECM again, but (thinking they were being nice) the dealer filled-up the car with half-a-tank of 87 octane (Yuck!). Looks like I’ll have to burn-off what is in the tank before I can get things back the way I really want them.

    In the end, I’m actually kinda glad that there was something that was fixed. When they first said that it was ‘just the fuse block’ and that everything would be OK… I still had some doubts that everything was going to be OK. Knowing that there was something broken (the MAF sensor harness) that was repaired gives me greater confidence that there will not be a problem in the future.

  • Picked-up and Dropped-off

    Posted on January 11th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today the dealership called me to say that the G8 was ready to be picked-up. I dropped the car off last week because it died and wouldn’t restart. They replaced the the fuse block and everything was ready to go. I asked the question if the issue was a malfunction in the damaged part, or if it was caused by something else. They assured me it was the caused by the damaged piece and everything would be good to go.

    So I pulled-out of the dealership and decided to go down the street to shake things out before driving home. The drove down the street slowly, and everything seemed to be working properly. I reached the end of the street and turned around… when I started to accelerate, a little more aggressively (~50% throttle), the G8 just died again. I guess they didn’t fix the problem! The car came to a stop across the street from the dealership so I walked back and told them what happened.

    So it looks like it will be a few more days before I get the G8 back. I’m really curious what they determine the problem is… as it’s clearly not JUST the fuse block. Fortunately for my piece of mind, I didn’t have the DashHawk installed… so it couldn’t have been the issue the first time (it was the only thing that I had changed recently). Right now, I really want to get back behind the wheel of the G8… these rental cars are just terrible.

  • Towed to the Dealer

    Posted on January 7th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today I was leaving my house and all of a sudden the G8 just died and wouldn’t restart. I really hate when stuff like this happens. I understand that it’s part of the deal, but it sucks. Thankfully everything will be covered under the factory warranty.


    This morning I started-up my car (remotely as always) and drove out of my parking garage. I headed down the street (~15mph) and stopped at a red light. While accelerating away from that light the engine just died. I pulled to the side of the road, parked, and tried to re-start the car… nothing, no cranking or anything. I still had power to the radio, GPS, etc, but wasn’t getting anything from the starter.

    I figured that I’d give OnStar a shot… so called them up and requested service. They said that the nearest service truck was in Oakland and would be at least 45 minutes away. I figured it was stupid to wait for a truck to drive from Oakland, so I gave AAA a shot. I called them and they had two trucks there (at the same time) in about 15 minutes.

    I hoped that a jump would be enough (maybe the DashHawk that I installed last night drained the battery or something), but it didn’t do anything… still nothing from the starter. I had the G8 towed down the street to the (ex-Pontiac) Chevy/GMC dealership to get looked-at. After a tech worked on the car in the parking lot for a couple of hours, they pushed it into the garage and got it on the lift.


    They traced the problem down to a malfunctioning fuse block (the whole thing that holds all the fuses). They have to order parts, so it looks like I’ll be stuck in a (crappy) rental car for a couple days. Oh well, hopefully it gets fixed soon!

  • A Day of TLC for the G8

    Posted on October 20th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    Today turned into a day of tender loving care (TLC) for the G8. I started by getting the oil changed (Mobil 1 of course) at the Dublin (Pontiac) Buick GMC. It was a nice change from having to drive all the way to Hill Top for service. I don’t know if I’ll be doing all my work there, but the oil change went well (so far as I can tell).

    Shortly after the oil change I re-tuned the ECM and TCM (I flashed them back to stock before heading to the dealer just in case). The TCM tune I loaded was a custom one I requested from Vector Motorsports. I went with 75% traction management (more than even the Stage 1) in Drive mode with the Stage 2 TM settings for Sport and Manual modes. This tune should work great for when I want to keep things mild (daily) and when I want to get a little wild (like this weekend).

    This afternoon I was headed out for some lunch when I noticed that the G8 was sounding different. It started out just a little off, but quickly it was obvious that something wasn’t right. I figured by the sound (almost deafening at times) there was a major exhaust leak somewhere. I pulled-off the road and took a look under the hood and out back. The passenger’s side exhaust tips were no longer in the correct spot and there didn’t seem to be as much exhaust coming out. I looked under the car and found that the rear portion of the mid-pipes had come un-clamped and was hanging down.

    I knew that this needed to be fixed, and without a floor jack and stands (and the place to work on a car) I needed to head to a shop. I thought it a little weird that this would happen shortly after visiting the dealer (like they loosened the clamp?), but it has also been raining the past few days and I have read about people having issues with the Corsa exhaust being too smooth and moving when wet. Before I did the install myself I had researched a few exhaust/muffler shops in my area, so headed over to Tri-Valley Muffler to get everything fixed-up.

    After 30 minutes of work the G8 was ready to go. I had the shop re-clamp the point that had come undone and checked all the other clamps for tightness. I also had them check out why the driver’s side exhaust wasn’t sitting straight (something that I neglected to do myself when getting things ready for GoatRun). Once everything was positioned correctly they put a little tack weld on each of the joints to make sure noting moves around in the future.

    I’m really glad that I was able to get everything buttoned-up before this weekend’s trip to Sacramento Raceway. I should be ready to make a few more passes and try to better my times from Las Vegas.